Saturday, July 30, 2011

Through small and simple things....

This... Is Elder Coles.  Missionary life is so crazy!  There are so many things going on all the time!  I feel especially overwhelmed this transfer.  I am serving in two units a ward and a branch and so we have alot of people to see, alot of members to teach and uplift, not to mention all the people investigating the church who we need to see as well, trying to reactivate members who have had some struggles, training a new missionary, preparing trainings for district meetings, continuing to learn the gospel, trying to write my friends letters, trying to make the best blog posts ever.... the list goes on.  Despite all of this going on I still continue to love life!  I love being busy and trying to balance out everything (which I still fail at but I am getting better).  I try to stay calm and I try to remember the scripture in Alma 37:6

"Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass"

There is a point that I have reached just recently where I have been trying to magnify my calling so much and trying to do what is right and be 100% focused and be PERFECT... I just realized that I cant do it all.  I want to do it all... but I cant.  I know now that I just have to keep it simple.  To keep life simple.  But for real... How simple is the gospel??  Soo simple!  Our savior Jesus Christ set the example for us and showed us how we need to live and what we need to do to be happy and taught that faith in him, repentance, baptism by proper authority and recieve the gift of the Holy Ghost and endure to the end is all we need to do to be happy.  Thats it.  Isnt that great?  Its so simple.       

Thursday, July 14, 2011


This... Is Elder Coles.  I wish I was perfect.  I strive to be better everyday and to be more like the savior... But I fail!  All the time!  It can be pretty discouraging.  I once had a day where I woke up and I said to myself  "today I am going to try to be perfect."  I think I lasted about two hours.  I have come to realize that to be perfect is impossible, and that we are allowed to make mistakes. 

One definition of perfect is "never having flaw or error."  Only one person has obtained this kind of perfect, and that is our Savior Jesus Christ.  We are commanded to be perfect by Jesus Christ (see 3 Nephi 12:48) but the apostle Paul says that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)  But there is another definition of perfect, and that is "having all flaws and errors removed."  This definition gives me more hope, and I know that we can become perfect through Jesus Christ.  I know that I have been far from perfect in my life, and I wish I could have been better.  But feelings of guilt and shame can be taken away through the atonement of Jesus Christ.  I know this from personal experience.  And I am so grateful for it!  Anyways there are some things that have helped me as I have tried to be perfect, and failed. 

One of those things is a great quote by Gerald N. Lund:
"Remember that one of Satan’s strategies, especially with good people, is to whisper in their ears: “If you are not perfect, you are failing.” This is one of his most effective deceptions, for it contains some elements of truth. But it is deception nonetheless. While we should never be completely satisfied until we are perfect, we should recognize that God is pleased with every effort we make—no matter how faltering—to better ourselves. One of the most commonly listed attributes of God is that he is long-suffering and quick to show mercy. He wants us to strive for perfection, but the fact that we have not yet achieved it does not mean we are failing."

Another thing that has helped me is I have been studying the book of mormon extensively while I have been out on my mission and I look at the people in it who have had to make mistakes and overcome weaknesses in order to be instruments in the hands of God.  One of those people being Alma the younger, who was one of the most "vilest of sinners" and later went on to be a great prophet. (see Mosiah 27) Another being the sons of Mosiah, who later went on to be the greatest missionaries.  (see Alma 17-22)  And one more being Alma's son Corianton, who was chastised by his father for being immoral on his mission, but who was later listed as a great missionary to bring peace to the Nephites.  (see Alma 49:30)

The thing that we need to realize is that we are not expected to be perfect.  We are expected to try to be better everyday and as we learn and grow through out this life and the next life we will be able to become perfected!